The Yaya Box


We all have a part of ourselves that we show to the world, and a part of ourselves that we don’t show. One way to begin to create community and connection with others is when we start to show our inner lives to one another. The Yaya Box activity involves making an artistic representation of your inner and outer worlds, which you show to others. You will find a box and create a visual artistic piece which will be shared in your group. The outer world is how you think people see you, what you think people think about you, in other words, the impression you give to the world, of who you are. It is generally more of a visual representation of your ego. The inner one is more about your inner world, what you think about, dream about, wish for, feel, etc. Both parts of the box reveal more to others about who you are, and can create a deeper sense of understanding between people.

Activity Type

Group / Experiential


2 to 4 hours to make the Yaya box, 5 to 10 minutes per person to present, 30 minutes discussion after to hear about the experience from participants

Learning Outcomes

  • To express oneself artistically

  • To build trust and intimacy within a group

  • To practice acceptance towards yourself and others


Required Materials and Tools:

  • Each participant should find a box to decorate, whatever shape, size and material they want (for example: plastic, cardboard etc).

  • Old magazines that can be cut up.

  • Crayons, markers, glue sticks, tape, and any other materials for creating the box.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Instruct each participant to find a box.

  2. Ask each participant to decorate both the inside and outside in a way that they see fit, using the inside to show their inner world, and the outside to show their outer world. They can use magazine clippings, drawings, brief quotes, and other artistic expressions to show this. Participants should have several hours of time to complete their boxes.

  3. After everyone has finished their boxes, have participants gather in a circle and ask who would like to be the first to show their box and describe it to the others.

  4. Have participants each share their box, and describe what the artistic representation means to them.

  5. Have a discussion at the end to see how the experience was for everyone.



  • Did you learn something new about yourself as you were creating the box?

  • Was it easy or difficult to express yourself artistically? Why?

  • Was it easy or difficult to share your creation with others? Why?  

  • Do you feel closer to the people from the group after you have shared your box and you have seen them share theirs?

Instructions for Submission

Upload 1 photo of participant’s yaya box. Submit a brief review (up to 200 words) of the activity and how it was for the participants and for you. Instructions on how to upload photos and how to submit things in Moodle can be found here: Instructions on Submission&Uploading

Instructions for Assessment

Provide feedback to at least one participant that has done this activity. Instructions on providing feedback can be found here: Instructions on Feedback

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